8 Undeniable Truths of a True Crime Junkie

If you have spent too many hours consuming all the true crime documentaries on Netflix, know who Josh Mankiewicz is, and can name 5 serial killers in 5 seconds, this post is for you.

I am a total true crime junkie… if you’re like me, you may share some of the undeniable truths of my life as someone who is true crime-obsessed.

  1. I don’t always like to admit I’m a true crime junkie

I’ve been a true crime junkie since I was about 14 years old when my friends and I used to sit and read the Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment in our high school library. All these years, I’ve remained an avid, consistent consumer of true crime, off and on. It hasn’t always made it into my small-talk or cocktail party conversations, and many times still doesn’t. Let’s face it, some of us are hesitant to admit our fascination with the sick and depraved, but then you find you’re not so unique.

2. I’ve found others like me

My friend Stacey and I talk about true crime pretty much on an ongoing basis. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed various trials and big crime news together, and now talk about our favourite cases and what has pushed us too far in not being able to read or watch any further. There are a lot of us “murderinos” out there (a term popularized among our kind by the podcast My Favorite Murder)

3. I’ve made a decent dent on all the available true crime documentaries, podcasts, and web pages

I went through all the episodes of American Justice back in the late-90s and early 2000s. I’ve gone through every Netflix true crime documentary. Every episode of Dateline and 48 Hours from the last decade and beyond has been watched, making my idols like Erin Moriarty, Josh Mankiewicz, Susan Spencer, and all the investigative journalists now feel like my best friends. YouTube’s amazing true crime channels have given me an awesome fix. I love Criminally Listed and Buzzfeed’s Unsolved (which also gets into the paranormal, which I’ve always loved too). All the series like The Staircase and The Jinx and of course Making a Murder have been consumed in binge fashion. I’ve made off with a decent slice of the available podcasts, Last Podcast on the Left, My Favorite Murder, Serial, etc etc. I’ve got a million episodes of White Wine True Crime! ready to dive into on my phone. I can’t get enough, and there is no shortage available of print, web and video content.

4. I’ve been able to recognize and define what intrigues me about the drama

My true crime addiction has nothing to do with blood, gore, or heinous acts. I actually don’t like that part of true crime at all. My neurotic consumption of true crime also derives zero pleasure from the sadness and the tragedy that goes along with true crime. I hate that part, but I also feel I do my part to remember the victims, in my own way. I’ve also actually fallen out of the fascination with serial killers. I’m into those stories of everyday people going mad. I love the psychology, the law, the history, the investigative journalism, and the storytelling involved in bringing them to justice and telling the story of the crime. I’m fascinated by the hard work done by citizens, law enforcement, and the law to solve and prosecute criminal cases. On the same token, I also find interest in the inevitable and at times disgraceful quirkiness and flaws of them all. Humans are fucked.

5. It’s made me street-smart and cautious

I am fairly certain that I am able to walk the line between paranoid and cautious when it comes to protecting my safety. True crime has been a reminder that anything can happen to anyone at any time, and as murderinos would say “fuck politeness”. It’s shown me where I should keep my back up and have learned from others experiences some pretty good life hacks for fighting your way out of a sticky situation. Luckily, I have balance in this area, but I can also be a paranoid fuck some days more than others.

6. I have my favourite cases and killers

There are my ol’ favourites in terms of cases, killers and stories. I can remember my first biggest true crime intrigue being Ted Bundy (although I’ve moved on)… I go through phases with my obsession with the cases. I’m currently on a JonBenet Ramsey kick, although I know the rest of the world has moved on after recognizing* the 20th anniversary of her murder last year. I have my theory down of what happened. When you find a case that snags your attention, it can incite new trips down rabbit holes that you both love and hate going down.

(*aka. briefly reviving the media circus around the case, which is a fascinating story within itself)

7. My love for true crime has become an issue in my relationship

My husband has been tired of my “murders” for quite some time now. Every night, he begs for us to watch something non-crime related. I’m pretty fucking stubborn. Being the wonderful man he is, dedicated to my happiness, he sits through my hours and hours of true crime documentaries and podcasts. I am thinking of giving him a break, because…

8 . I need sanity-preserving break from true crime at times

There are times that I feel like my true crime obsession may be playing with my mind. I do keep balanced, I am a light-hearted person, who for the most part has positive and productive thoughts and actions. On the other hand, I do have depression and sometimes getting to into true crime can ease me into dark holes. Behind every true crime story is human pain and suffering. That’s fucking heavy shit. It’s important to get that sanity-check sometimes and step back into the land of the living, where people are good, and you can feel that sense of safety we all deserve.

I’ve come to realize that there is nothing wrong with having a true crime obsession. It’s a good reminder of the volatility of the human psyche, the preciousness of human life, and the necessity to take care of each other.

I’ll always hope that people stop fucking murdering each other, until then, I’ll stand by listening, watching, reading in utter awe and fascination.

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